Dozens Dead, Hundreds Injured As Tsunami Strikes Indonesia

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As if the eruption of an island volcano outside Jakarta, Indonesia, was not frightening enough, the tsunami sparked by the volcanic eruption that spurred a 65-foot-tall wall of water washing across Indonesia’s Sunda Strait sent sheer panic across the region.

Indonesian officials first announced that it was a tidal wave that caused the tsunami, then later recounted that statement, USA Today said.

Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency attributed the tsunami’s occurrence specifically to undersea landslides prompted by the eruption of Anak Krakatu, a volcanic island formed from the nearby Krakatu volcano that has been active for months. The agency also reported that tidal waves also could have been caused by the full moon, USA Today disclosed.

Hundreds of houses and hotels were damaged, and at least 43 people were killed by the tsunami. Approximately 600 people have been reported injured, as well. Boats were destroyed and cars were tossed about. The tsunami struck at approximately 9:27 p.m., the country’s Disaster Management Agency reported.

Norwegian Øystein Lund Andersen was snapping photos of the powerful volcano when he noticed the wave rushing toward him, according to USA Today.

“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m (meters) inland,” he wrote on Facebook. “Next wave entered the hotel area where I was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of (by) the locals. We’re unharmed, thankfully.”

Twitter user David Lipson posted a video purportedly showing the moment the tsunami surprised everyone and crashed into a band identified as Seventeen while they were in the middle of performing. You can see the powerful tsunami plow through the wall of the tent behind the band, ultimately scattering the band members and washing them away. You can see the people in the audience panicking as they tried to flee the area. Lipson is the Indonesia correspondent for ABC News.

The 1,000-foot-high volcano has been active since June and has been under observation by scientists. Authorities zoned off an area around the crater measuring 1.2 miles in circumference to try and keep people away and safe. But apparently no one expected this.

People of this region couldn’t believe more damage was plaguing their area. In September, more than 2,500 people were killed by an earthquake and tsunami that hit the City of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, east of Borneo.